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Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 6 April, 2021 05:50PM
After I was about 35 or so, all I wanted was to know the official, overt rules and be left alone to play the game according to the rules.

From that point I was confident that given that much, I'd make it just fine. I wouldn't need extra protection or help, over and above what was implicit in the rules.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"...and your little dog, too!"
--Sawfish

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 6 April, 2021 06:24PM
Sawfish Wrote:
>
> Previous generations placed value on "growing out"
> of this phase, but this was not a rite of passage
> for my daughter's generation.
>
> And it dawns on me, too, that we currently have no
> rites of passage, such as most previous societies
> had, when an adolescent was publicly promoted to
> adulthood, after being instructed on what,
> exactly, is expected of the contributing adult.
>
> All this was a public announcement of what
> everyone else expects as minimum acceptable
> behavior. If you want to be a member of the tribe,
> these are the dues.
>
> Do you see anything even remotely resembling a
> declaration of expected behavior in today's crop
> of coming-of-age individuals? Because I sure
> don't.

It might be strange if there were. I don't know how much it is a conscious thing on anyone's part, but for many people not to come of age is in the interests of some institutions.

If you don't come of age, then you want to buy, buy, buy the stuff the cool kids wear/listen to/eat & drink, and (certainly) be proficient at the cool electronic games, etc.

If you don't come of age, you're not (fully) responsible for your actions. You delegate to others the responsibility to make (your) choices. This frees you to continue to focus your consciousness on packaged entertainment, etc.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 6 Apr 21 | 06:30PM by Dale Nelson.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 6 April, 2021 06:29PM
"Coming of age" has almost always had a cultic or religious component to it.

But religion has ever less to do with society in the US and Europe.

[www.huffpost.com]

If you come of age in a religious context, you are responsible for your soul and, probably, in some way or other, for a part to take in a/the community.

If you don't come of age, you are less responsible.

Especially in an affluent consumer society such as ours, it is attractive to gain ever more spending power while not being responsible for duties owed to others. The ideal American would be a perpetual adolescent aged 30 or so who spends money even while he is asleep.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 6 April, 2021 10:30PM
Excellent observations by Dale. The society we live in is actually a concealed slavery.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 7 April, 2021 05:08AM
edit



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 7 Apr 21 | 05:31AM by Knygatin.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 7 April, 2021 06:12AM
At the top of the "food chain" is international banking, and they pick the politicians. The "fair democracy" of being allowed to vote between two different parties, is a spoof charade. Even socialist revolution is controlled and sparked by the international bankers, to get at private fortunes and savings, to free this money and transfer it over into mass consumption and increased buying, and lessen individual power. The French and Russian revolutions were orchestrated behind the wings by the international banking (Rothschild to be exact), to get at the fortunes of the monarchs and tsars. I don't know what the case was about the Chinese Communist revolution, but the international oligarchy has moved a lot of their cheapened production to China, so today at least they are deeply involved with each other.

They will not tolerate any independency, and go to war against any country which attempts to have their own economy and bank independent of international $ infiltration and control. And you know what countries those were, if you honestly look back through history. They are all pinioned now.

They don't want anyone to stand independent on their own two legs. They lead people to the cities, to be dependent, under master control, and pay with borrowed money at insidious interest rate. Where I live They can't even stand it when people live on their own in the countryside and furnish their own heating, so now separately penalty tax them for having their own firewood stacked outside their house on their own property.

But for personal considerations, it may be wise not to speak too loudly of these matters today. For instance, your bank account may be shut down. That is why I write under synonym, although that is no longer a guarantee for not being tracked. But still I find it worthwhile, since our common Freedom is ultimately at stake.
But enough of this for now! This is not the time and place.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 7 April, 2021 03:18PM
Hello, Knygatin.

I'm on much the same page as you with the existing structure--essentially, haves and have-nots, and every gradation between, but as before, where you say "toe MAY toe", I say "toe MAH toe".

The result is just about the same, although we see different mechanisms in operation.

But hey--that's just how *I* perceive it, and I have no assurance I'm ultimately correct.

Thanks for sharing!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"...and your little dog, too!"
--Sawfish

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 8 April, 2021 11:21AM
Knygatin, I'm finishing up a re-reading of Sirens of Titan. This is certainly in excess of 5 times, I'd think.

This time thru I had some interesting new thoughts regarding Vonnegut as a writer.

Within the first 10 pages, during the introductory phase of the novel, before he starts expressing ideas and observations, I see his style as not too good--a bit clunky and unimaginative. Not cliched, just not artful. It is, mercifully, very direct and short, so it's at least easy to read it and "get it"...

Later he begins to get into "ideas"--mainly presented as observations from which you may make your own logical extensions, or conversely, new ideas based on existing and widely accepted common logic. None of these seem to me to be force or contrived for effect--it's like he's venting these thoughts aloud, although set in the context of the story he's telling. His character, or the situations they are in, are the "mouthpiece" for these ideas.

He's not didactic in that he expects you to accept this, it's more that he, himself, is in a state of amazement at having observed this, which flies against his previous assumptions. He, like the reader, is seeing this for the first time, and it can be somewhat disturbing.

In this sense he's like Heinlein or Ayn Rand, and lots of others--however, these two authors are most assuredly didactic, while Vonnegut is not. For clear contrast, this is opposed to people like Flaubert or Dreiser, who tell us a personally unique story from which you are free to draw moral conclusions, or not. But it is primarily not a vehicle for possible enlightenment.

And Vonnegut's observations are quite imaginative and always at least worthy of consideration. You may reject them, but typically one does not reject them out-of-hand as preposterous--they seem grounded in reality, but that reality is seen from a very different POV.

These are "idea books", not escapism.

You realize by now that I have no heroes, and hence I don't ascribe revelatory insight to authors, based on my personal esteem for them. So it's meaningful, to me at least, when I say that Vonnegut's ideas do not disappoint as stimulating starting points for intellectual exploration, especially about the nature and characteristics of mankind.

And oh, yeah...if you must select one word to characterize his narratives, it is "irony". His stuff is saturated with irony, but not snarky, cynical irony--more like tragic irony. Like a happy dog being loaded into an SUV, going for a ride, which he loves, but in reality is being taken to the pound.

If you get around to reading any of his stuff, I'd be very interested in your thoughts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"...and your little dog, too!"
--Sawfish

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 April, 2021 10:05AM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hello, Knygatin.
>
> I'm on much the same page as you with the existing
> structure--essentially, haves and have-nots, and
> every gradation between, but as before, where you
> say "toe MAY toe", I say "toe MAH toe".
>

About the existing bank structure (with the Rothschild dynasty at the top of the global economic pyramid for the last 200 years), the following lucid documentary explains it much better than I ever could: The Money Masters - The Rise Of The Bankers

I have watched perhaps half of it. I really don't have enough patience, and I'd much rather escape into pure fantasy with Klarkash-Ton, Eich-Pi-El, A. Merritt, and the other guys. They were very wise to turn away from the mundane and worldly, although Lovecraft harbored some partial interest for politics; CAS seemed too sardonic and ironic to give any serious thought to it, and Merritt was the ultimate dreamer (although he managed a regular job better than either of the other two).

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 April, 2021 10:05AM
Thanks Sawfish, for the thoughts about Vonnegut. It is a bit early for me yet, but I sent out my old mother as test pilot for Slaughterhouse 5. (She can no longer read, but have enthusiastically discovered audio-books.) She finds him shrewd and rather entertaining. Edit: I should add that she is at the beginning of the book, perhaps three chapters in.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 9 Apr 21 | 10:13AM by Knygatin.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 9 April, 2021 01:12PM
Too often we discuss "freedom" with regard to large groups of people or even with regard to "society." Yes, those discussions can be important. But often I need to be concerned with the freedom that I, personally, enjoy.

Am I exercising it to the maximum degree that I should and could?

The answer will be "No," all too often.

Some 19th-century philosopher said something like this, that people spend far too much time complaining about their lack of freedom rather than exercising the freedom they have.

Much of my sense of restricted freedom will be due to feeble indulgence of habit rather than to some power outside myself that boxes me in.

Believe me: it all goes together. One may feel boxed in not, really, because of the actions of distant authorities but because one procrastinates, takes the easy way, fails to take on one's duty to the people of one's circle, etc.

I have great regard for many people who homeschool. There is a Latin tag that says "A good home is the best teacher." If someone has young children and ships them off to the government school when he could teach his own -- I suspect that person's beef about insufficient freedom.

If one clicks that Amazon purchase button to buy things he does not need or even really want, but out of boredom -- who's at fault? I say it is himself primarily, not "society" or Amazon -- deplorable as they are for sure.

I don't believe we all possess super powers. We'll hit a wall soon enough if we think we do. Part of being relatively free is having some genuine humility and recognizing that interdependence is necessary for everyone... even true hermits. (Yes, even they. It is impossible to think without language. The hermit can't invent his own language from scratch with no debt to his first language.)

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 April, 2021 03:18PM
You are right Dale. At the same time these things interrelate. If we all acted like you say, taking responsibility for our freedom, taking on our duties to the social circle, oppressors would have less chance of controlling our lives.

Till what age do you mean teaching children in the home? Is it legal to keep children out of school where you live?

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 9 April, 2021 03:33PM
Homeschooling is -- at the moment -- legal in all 50 states, I believe. I fully expect the Biden administration and its fellow travelers to try to diminish this liberty. That might stir some people to defiance who have been quite so far. I don't mean -- at all -- that they would act violently. More likely they would protest, become active in getting out the vote for favored candidates, and getting read to be fined and imprisoned if they refused to knuckle under. The progressives might find it hard to enforce laws that put thousands of exemplary parents in the pokey. Some parents might go underground with their kids if they felt they had to. But I hope rather that members of Congress etc. would find that destroying homeschooling -- however much the NEA would like that -- is just too costly at the polls, if it comes to this.

My wife (mostly) and I homeschooled our four children. All of them eventually were independent enough and had learned enough that we thought public school wouldn't cheat them too seriously and so they enrolled as part-time or even full-time, but three of the four did not "graduate" from high school but got GEDs.* You have to know more to get a GED than you do to have to get a high school diploma, by the way. Our kids all benefited from not being "socialized" to one narrow age group, which is what public schools tend to do as perhaps everyone here will remember. As homeschooled kids they were able to pursue individual interests more than they would have been in the public school milieu. One was reading solid novels like Jane Eyre and War and Peace around age 12, another was doing chemical and electrical experiments which would not have been feasible in a school environment, and so on. They've all been highly employable as adults.

*General Education Diploma -- we thought this would be convenient rather than the youngster in question having to explain the homeschool curriculum & methodologies, etc. in job interviews and so on.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 9 April, 2021 07:54PM
Re home-schooling...

Thanks for these insights, Dale. Since I'm a parent, too, I had some of the same decisions to make, and I, too, came to these decisions with a fairly informed idea about what I'd like/not like for my daughter's education. I had been an elementary school teacher in the CA public system from 76 to 83, and my experiences there caused me to try very, very hard to avoid sending her into the public system.

Now, my ultimate decision was to send her to a very well-respected PDX college prep school, OES, for K-12, and this addressed most of my practical concerns, but it did not avoid the benevolent indoctrination that students still receive even in carefully selected private schools.

Simply put, we've been in a sort of cultural/social phase where increasingly, ethics is mixed in with instruction so that you get the educational version of the mish-mash of information you'll find in most news stories, even from respected news sources: straight factual reporting to 1950's journalism standards has been replaced by editorialized reporting, but still labeled as "news" rather than "opinion".

I seriously doubt that most of the young journalists today even realize this; they *think* they're providing a public service, and thru their actions will change the world for the better, woefully naive though their ideas may be.

Pretty much the same thing happens in education today, in my opinion. A lot of emphasis is placed on instructing students not simply what happened or is happening, but adding to that what *should* have happened, or happen.

So there is a moral value judgement--and this may be at conflict with your home values!--placed on every current or historical event in the social sciences or the humanities, and this now extends into literature: should such-and-such an author have created such-and-such a character or situation?

This is, simply put, madness, cultural neurosis.

So how did this happen? A conspiracy of well-meaning educators? I have a few thoughts on this.

I think that in the 50s, when the civil rights movement brought to the broad American consciousness the injustices of Jim Crow, academia began to respond by overtly teaching what they, in their benevolent but short-sighted way, took to be the "correct" way to think on race relations; arguably this was mostly beneficial in the short term. But this soon broadened into every perceived area of injustice--almost all without any significant public debate--and this was all for the best of motivations.

And to a degree, this trend was exacerbated by a simultaneous decline in formal religious instruction, which had been the more traditional source of ethical instruction up until that point, with additional ethical instruction/re-enforcement coming from the home, itself.

You also had at this time the increase in two worker families, and single parent families, both of which worked toward abandoning in-home (or religious) ethical instruction.

So for the last 60 or so years, ethical instruction has been a self-perpetuating field taught with the tacit, though uncomfortable, approval of parents either engaged in their careers, or single parent households--neither of which have the time or inclination to do it, themselves.

And worse news is coming: the *ability* to pass along ethics is being lost, since many people today have no notion of honesty, dignity, nobility, honor, personal integrity, etc. Many do not even know why these *might* be important traits.

This part of a child's instruction has been abandoned to well-meaning professionals, and this is probably one of the best reasons to home school.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"...and your little dog, too!"
--Sawfish



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 9 Apr 21 | 08:13PM by Sawfish.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 11 April, 2021 12:51PM
Sawfish, thanks for those thoughts.

I taught Education majors among others for about 30 years as an English composition teacher. Believe me, the experience was not one likely to make one optimistic about the destiny of kids who would be their pupils. Perhaps it is becoming widely recognized that it's largely the mediocre students who enroll in Education.

The problem, as you indicate, is not only that these students will become teachers of meagre learning (and how shall they pass on to others what they do not have?), but that they are lacking in moral and ethical qualities. Many of them, I think, approve of themselves because they profess the notions of their career circle & union, and promote those notions -- which may be simplistic and even deluded.

[www.nea.org]

Education majors bond early with the NEA by affiliating with Student Education Associations, etc. (scroll down).

[uiucsea.weebly.com]

Thus affiliated, Education majors are provided with a ready-made set of notions and feel little need to think for themselves.

For many parents -- no problem! They are not thoughtful people themselves; they want their kids to be popular, to "get good grades," to "go to college" and make good connections, get jobs that pay well, and so on; that's the outline of a "good life." That's it.

Biden made much of his wife's being an NEA member, etc. I expect his administration will try to bring homeschoolers and independent schools under government supervision even more. But you know, there was a time when we were citizens -- not subjects. In fact -- let it be whispered in your ear: we still are.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11 Apr 21 | 01:27PM by Dale Nelson.

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